Archbishop Urges San Francisco to Ease Restrictions

by Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone

Descriptive Title

Archbishop Cordileone Urges San Francisco to Ease Restrictions


On August 31, 2020, Archbishop Salvatore J. Cordileone released this statement calling on Mayor London Breed; Director of Public Health Dr. Grant Colfax; and San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Tomás Aragón to ease unfair restrictions on public worship in San Francisco.

Publisher & Date

Archdiocese of San Francisco, August 31, 2020

“ I am grateful that the Mayor and other government leaders in San Francisco acknowledge the importance of mental and spiritual health to the overall well-being of our people, in addition to physical and economic health. I am therefore calling on the Mayor and her public health officials to, at a minimum, remove the excessive limits on outdoor public worship.

Particularly for us as Catholics, attending the Mass and receiving the Body and Blood of Christ in person is the source and the summit of our faith, and we have shown we can celebrate the Mass safely. As three major infectious disease specialists recently pointed out, "over one million public [M]asses have been celebrated following guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus…for Catholic churches following these guidelines, no outbreaks of COVID-19 have been linked to church attendance.[1]"

San Francisco is the only government in the entire Bay Area that restricts public gatherings to 12 people out of doors. Ours and others’ faith is being treated as less important than a trip to the hardware store, or a nice dinner out on the patio. This denial of access to safe outdoor public worship is a serious deprivation of our rights as Americans under the First Amendment and our spiritual needs as people of faith. One million public Masses without any Covid outbreaks demonstrates that it is just as safe in San Francisco as in other parts of the state, such as San Mateo County, to permit large gatherings for outdoor public worship with reasonable safety precautions.


© Archdiocese of San Francisco

This item 12396 digitally provided courtesy of